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Hartley Grazing

Australian cattle farmers are enjoying a golden era – with covid-19 and geopolitical disruption proving no match for our Australian farmers’ quality of production.

The strength of the Australian beef industry culminated this week during Rockhampton’s Beef Australia, where thousands of producers have gathered to celebrate the innovation, technology and expertise driving beef’s progression.

And Hartley Grazing of Queensland’s western downs is just one Australian beef enterprise enjoying the industry’s renaissance,  delivering 4,000 to 4,500 head of beef cattle to the Australian market every year.

Tom and Sandra Hartley, with their son, Andrew, are partners in Hartley Grazing, and there is no shortage of involvement by other family members.

The business encompasses four properties – each one under the control of various members of the family. Tom, Sandra and their youngest daughter Krystle, live and work on the home property of Coopermurra, Andrew runs the family’s adjoining property, Southlands, while their middle daughter and son-in-law, Amanda and Brett Slater, run Crystalbrook and their eldest daughter and son-in-law, Michelle and Dan McInnerney, run Morwhena.

The Hartleys are fifth-generation farmers, but according to Tom Hartley, working on the land is about more than just tradition.

“As a family, we are all in it together, it’s a team effort and that means not having to do everything all on your own.”

 

Hartley Grazing

For the Hartleys, doing everything includes running approximately 12,000 head of cattle on 117,000 hectares across their four properties – breeding and fattening their stock as heavy feeders to 480kg which they sell to feedlots.

“We have about 3,500 breeding cows at Crystalbrook and a further 500 to 1,000 breeders between Southland and Coppermurra,” Tom said.

“We fatten most of the cattle at Southlands, but we also fatten some at Morwhena which we have mainly set up as a trading operation. We sell about 4,000 to 4,500 of our cattle every year.”

Australia’s cattle numbers are still building after years of drought – driving record pricing – and Tom expects that combined with the better season, these great returns would continue for some time.

Thankfully Hartley Grazing was able to retain a strong herd during the drought, and laughed that with ‘good numbers, good prices and a good season it’s hard to be a ‘whinging farmer’ the season is so good.’

However Tom concedes the days of the ‘whinging farmer’ are over, with technology, innovation and education driving this progressive industry into the next chapter.

“Genetics is leading Australian beef’s quality assurance, and raising the standard of the national herd, and Australian cattle farmers.” 

Hartley Grazing

Hartley Grazing’s efficiency measures include buying good sound bulls, increasing the productivity of its herd through increasing calving percentages and targeted weight gains.

‘It’s a great time to be in the cattle game – we have a quality product respected and acknowledged globally, and as the world’s leading producers, our Aussie cattle farmers deserve to be celebrated, ” he said.


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